Losing a Case

Find out about the processes involved and your position as to costs, following an unsuccessful conclusion to a litigant in person claim.

Liability for Costs

If you are the unsuccessful party to a claim, you (the paying party) will be responsible for paying the legal costs incurred by the successful party (the receiving party). You should make yourself aware of the processes involved following the unsuccessful conclusion of the claim, including the detailed assessment process.

I Lost My Case, What’s Next?

If you lost a legal case, you should expect to receive a legal costs order against you. This order means that you are responsible for paying the receiving party’s legal costs.

If costs have been summarily assessed, you should pay the costs stated on the Order to the receiving party within 14 days od the date stated on the order.

If costs are ordered for detailed assessment, you should wait for the receiving party to serve their bill of costs, alongside their Notice of Commencement, to initiate detailed assessment proceedings.

Under CPR 47.9, you should file your points of dispute within 21 days of service of the bill of costs. The receiving party can then send their points of reply and parties should attempt to negotiate a settlement before proceeding to a detailed assessment hearing.

What Are Points of Dispute?

Points of Dispute are formal, legal arguments, used to contest the amount of costs claimed in a bill of costs in an attempt to negotiate a reduced costs liability. If you do not send your points of dispute, within 21 days, the receiving party can apply to the Court to receive a default costs certificate and they may be awarded all costs on their bill.

What Should be Included in Points of Dispute?

Practice Direction 47.8 states that:

“Points of dispute must be short and to the point. They must follow Precedent G in the Schedule of Costs Precedents annexed to this Practice Direction, so far as practicable.  They must:

(a) identify any general points or matters of principle which require decision before the individual items in the bill are addressed; and

(b) identify specific points, stating concisely the nature and grounds of dispute.

Once a point has been made it should not be repeated but the item numbers where the point arises should be inserted in the left hand box as shown in Precedent G.”

You can challenge any item in a bill of costs. We would advise that big-ticket items, such as hourly rates, level of counsel fees, and proportionality of costs should be targeted to achieve the largest level of reductions.

Technical challenges, such as disputing the validity of the retainer, can also be raised, to disallow all of the costs claimed.

Can a Costs Draftsman Service Assist in Litigant in Person Costs Negotiations?

A costs draftsman firm, such as ARC Costs, can provide expert assistance in the negotiation of your litigant in person costs, including drafting your points of dispute. Costs negotiation can be complicated, which is why it may be beneficial to obtain advice or assistance from an experienced cost drafting firm.

For advice on what to do if you win your case, have a read of this section on our website.

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